Families of pursuit victims live in every city, in every state, in every country.
Together, we will unite to prevent these senseless tragedies from happening to others.
Christian Alexander Lackey, “Chris” to his many friends,
died when he was just 12 years old after a high-speed police chase.
The e-mail's subject line was painfully written: "I need advice and any other help you can give"
Christian came into my life when I was just a baby myself. He made me want to change my life and be a better person for him. Because of him, I pursued a college education, something I probably never would have done without him. I owe the very person I have become to him.
My family has done nothing but hurt since his passing. Things will never be the same. Family vacations and holidays have lost their sparkle. Even though we don’t say it, I know that all of us are thinking: “I bet Christian would enjoy being here right now, trying that.” Or “I wonder what Christian would think about that.” Of course, there is, also, the ever present, haunting realization “Christian is not here, and will never be here again.” We try to keep the thoughts from coming; however, it is a constant struggle to enjoy even the simplest “family” moments without him. Our lives will never be the same without him.
Since he was a small child, he had the most amazing sense of humor. He would make funny faces, strike funny GQ like poses, and just do or say things to make everyone laugh. Christian was part Hispanic from his dad’s side. So when I would ask him to take out the trash, he would say “It’s because I’m Mexican, isn’t it?” His teachers, friends, all who knew him, knew him for his sense of humor.
After Christian died, many of his friends came to me and told me how if they were sad, depressed or just having a bad day, he would do whatever it took to bring a smile to their faces. He genuinely cared for others and believed laughter was the best medicine.
Christian was also abnormally smart for his age, too smart for his own good. While most kids his age (age 2-3) were religiously watching Barney or Sesame Street, he was watching Forrest Gump. He would watch those actual kid shows too, but none of those characters captivated him like Forrest. Christian began ordering his own food at restaurants, asking for refills, and just plain carrying on conversations with adults around that same age. He would say “Excuse me. Could I have more please?” I remember when I was taking him over to visit my, then, boyfriend’s family, he started asking me questions about when I got divorced to his real dad and other such questions. I told him I was never married, and he started to cry. I held his hand the whole way there, and remember thinking “He is barely old enough to talk in complete sentences yet he is thinking and talking as a child 3 or 4 times his age.”
Truth be told, I could talk for days about Christian. Even though he only lived for 12 years, he proved himself to be such a unique, kind, humorous, and smart human being. There were, of course, times when I really wanted to ‘wring his neck’, and I’m sure he felt the same about me. But one thing is for sure, I would give anything to have him here with me, good times and bad, growing older as he should be, driving me crazy in his teenage years, than to have to live one more moment of my life without him. I will never be the same. A piece of my heart and soul died with him. I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be. —Melissa Lackey
A glimpse at a very young boy... Christian Alexander Lackey
Mom and Christian (above). The title: "I will save you." The picture on your right is simply titled, "Saltwater."
At Melissa's (center) graduation...........
A Letter from Grandma
What can I say about Christian...there are so many things. He, at the time, was our only grandchild...he lived with us until he was 7 years old...he was my sweetheart, the light of my life and I miss him so much it literally hurts.
He once told me that I was his cool grandma, because I would play the playstation with him...I went to their apartment one day and he told a friend of his that I was the one he was talking about...they were so excited to see me.
When Christian was about four we were on our way to Wal-Mart when he asked me where we were going. When I told him that we were going to Wal-Mart, he looked at me with a questioning look and said that we weren't going to Wal-Mart because that was not the way his mom took him to Wal-Mart. From that point on, Christian would tell us which way to go when we were going anywhere. He was so proud of his self that he said we could call him the "man teller."
Some time around Melissa's 24th birthday, Christian ask me how old I was, so I told him that I was 29. Again he got that puzzled look on his face...he thought about it for a few seconds then said "no you're not." I said, "You don't believe that I was only five when I had your mother?" He laughed and said "no."
I could go on and on but now all I can think about is that I miss him so bad...my heart aches and will never be the same...nothing is the same anymore...but most of all I think that if he would have asked to go with us to the lake...or better yet if I would have asked him to go...but instead when he called me, he said he was grounded, so I didn't ask him...why couldn't I have asked him...if only I had, our lives wouldn't be so empty now.
We tried to find out what happened but no one would tell us anything, so we tried to sue the officer and the town. The officer 's story was changed completely from his police report. It was blatantly different. In his deposition, he said the driver tried to run over him before he took off...but he said nothing like that in his report... we also will not be able to take them to court because of a Missouri law that does not allow the family of anyone in the vehicle that dies to sue...because they could not say that they would not have run from the police if they would have had a choice...Christian was 12 years old...there was a grown man driving...I know for a fact that Christian would not have wanted to run... but he didn't have a choice...I'm pretty sure that the man driving didn't asked who wanted to run before he did ...the same police officer chased another car with a passenger coincidentally with the last name of Lackey...he lost one of his arms in the crash and because he was able to say that he wouldn't have run was awarded $350K.
We wanted answers...why when the truck was heading north on Hwy 23 did it strike a tree from the south? Why did he chase them since according to his police report, they had not commited a felony? At the time, he pulled them over they had only broken the speed limit.
Melissa has said many times it was never about the money...she wanted them to feel, at least sorry, if only for the money, for taking her son away from her...she has such great plans to start a scholarship in Christian's memory for his new cousins, that he never got a chance to meet, and maybe also for a couple of his friends ...Instead the officer changed his story....they walked away without explaining anything....we have no answers....but most of all we don't have Christian.
Grandma loves you baby...you will always be my first sweetheart....
No one can have too much love!
A letter from Uncle Josh ...
Memorial Day weekend will never mean the same to me as it did as I was a kid ... honoring the memory of those who came before us and the legacies they left behind.
Instead I am left with grief and agony as on May 27, 2007 my nephew was killed in a police chase in Knob Noster, MO. My life has been altered forever as I lost Christian. He not only was my nephew, but he was my best friend, and I never was able to tell him how much he meant to me.
My young nephew set me straight ...
He was the inspiration for changing my life for the better as I used to be in and out of trouble with the law, with school, and caused my parents and family a lot of heartache, and worry. When I had got put in jail, it wasn't the thought of spending 10 years behind bars, or the fact that I had a major problem with authority figures telling me when to use the restroom, or when to go to bed, or when to take a shower. Or even the thought of being an even bigger disappointment to my family than I already was at that time. It was because my mother told me that when Christian found out that I was in jail that he cried relentlessly... and kept asking if he would ever be able to see me again. That hurt me more than I thought I could ever be hurt in my life to realize the mistakes that I was making in my life could hurt the person I loved the most in the world. He saved my life, and now I can never see him again or talk to him again.
I didn't get to see him very often the last few years of his life. He had moved to Warrensburg with his Mother so she could further her education and create a better life for the both of them. Even though he lived so far away I had ample opportunities to go see him and my sister, but I never did. I think I will regret that for the rest of my life. As for [the names of those involved], they will haunt me forever. I feel that the police officer who chased the driver for so long, at such high rates of speed on dark country roads, is just as responsible as the man behind the wheel. They are all responsible for the death of two innocent boys that didnít have a chance to live their lives. Christian will never get to graduate, or get married or have kids of his own. He was just a little boy and now every Memorial weekend I'm left with the same questions: Why couldnít [the driver] just let those boys out of the truck? And why wouldn't that cop stop chasing them without knowing who else was in the truck? .......... I LOVE YOU SO MUCH CHRISTIAN. YOU WERE THE HEART AND SOUL OF THIS FAMILY, AND NOT ONLY DID WE LOSE YOU, ON THAT MORNING, WE LOST A PART OF OURSELVES... R.I.P MONKEY MAN, AND TAKE CARE OF GRANDMA AND GRANDPA FOR US. AND I HOPE TO BE THERE WITH YOU SOME DAY.